When you buy a new computer, what do you do with the old one? Donate it to charity? Give it to a friend? Leave it with the computer vendor who sold you the new computer? Sell it on Craigslist?
The real question here is, what happens to the data on the hard drive in your old system? Do you take the drive out and dispose of it? Do you format it and reinstall the operating system? Do you physically destroy the drive? Do you possibly use a “Secure Wipe” on the drive?
Did you know many people don’t give it a second thought? They hand their system over, with their data intact! Expecting the person on the other end to do the right thing.
I was recently talking with my good friend Brent over at Shred Disk and a group of other Greenville business owners about this topic, and we decided it would be interesting to find out for ourselves what becomes of data in old systems, consider it a science experiment if you will.
Brent went to an Upstate computer dealer and asked to purchase the smallest drive that they had. He was given a “repurposed” hard drive at a reasonable cost. An older Seagate 40gb IDE drive, which he dropped by the Homeland Secure IT office for us to examine.
We took the drive and connected it to our system, found it had been formatted, or possibly “wiped” and then set out to see if we could recover anything. Here’s a video of what we found:
As you can see, even I was surprised at the results!
The bottom line here is… PROTECT YOURSELF from this! A format is not the answer, a “secure wipe”, may NOT be as secure as you think.
The ONLY 100% reliable way to protect your data is the destroy the hard drive. Shred Disk is a company that can assist you with that! Whether you have one or one thousand hard drives, they can come to you, remove the drives and shred the drive into tiny pieces and provide you with a certificate of destruction that will free you from liability! Shred Disk even has a ship it in program that I hear is about to start, where you can pay online, an envelope will be sent to you and you can send the drive the drive to Shred Disk, they will document the opening of that envelope on video along with the shredding of the unit. You can even opt to have the crushed remains sent back to you with a certificate of destruction.
You may think you can destroy a drive by yourself, using a hammer or even a shotgun, however, we advise against these alternatives due to the potential for shrapnel. Use a professional. Contact Shred Disk Onsite Hard Drive Shredding. They also shred other media too, such as tapes and entire electronic devices!
All hard computer hard drives left at Homeland Secure IT will be eventually DESTROYED by Shred Disk, so if you upgrade a computer through us, your drive and your data will NEVER leave our doors. We do *not* sell used hard drives for any purpose.